Sunday, April 24, 2005

I miss that minivan but I sense that it does not miss me

Warning: this is kind of long. I know some of you (Scott) can't deal with more than 2 paragraphs at a time.

I turned 16 in December of my sophomore year of high school. I didn't get my driver's license, however, until 4 months later because my mom made me take driver's ed through the high school. This means that I had to take it the second semester of that year because you couldn't take it before you were 16. The class was once a week for like 3 months. Even though I was older than my friends, we all got our licenses about the same time because they got to take the quickie 2 week course. Surely 12 years later I am still not bitter about this, right? Wrong. Thanks a lot, Mom. Hmm...maybe you will have to just wait a couple extra years to have grandchildren, huh?

Anyway, it turns out that the driver's ed class through the high school was, shall we say, substandard-that is if my driving record of the first 8 months that I had my license is any indication. I won't go into detail about everything here seeing as there are a few incidents that I need to keep on the DL for a very specific reason (my parents don't know about them), but suffice it to say that within the first 8 months of legally driving, I had upwards of 6 "incidents". And by "incidents" I mean that collisions took place with either a stationary or moving object.

It is the first of these incidents that I will describe to you today. Five days after I got my driver's license I was picking up my friends Squirt and Kim in my parents' sweet ass minivan. I got to Squirt's, honked the minivan horn and waited for them to come out. They jumped in, I blasted "Two Princes" and backed out of the driveway.


What......the fuck.......was that.

Oh I'll tell you what it was--I had just backed into a parked car. Instinctively I turned off the radio so I could think straight. I pulled back into Squirt's driveway and started freaking out. "Who the hell parks their car directly behind a driveway in the suburbs!?", I was yelling, obviously missing the point of what had just happened--that I was 16 and a shitty teenage driver. I had no idea what to do. Squirt and Kim were no help. We were all just standing there staring at the car I just hit.

A plan was born, however, when we realized that a) there was no damage to the minivan and b) no one else was outside except for Squirt's brother Bobby and his friend Bobby. They were 11 and 12, respectively. I was so scared of what my parents were going to do to me that all sense of right and wrong completely fell by the wayside. It was all about survival. And I was not going down without a fight. I approached the Bobbys and asked them if they saw what had just happened. Bobby #1 said, "Uh...yeah....duh-you totally just slammed into that other car. That was awesome!" Signaling to him that his commentary was not needed (by saying, "Shut it, Bobby!"), I told the young boys that if they didn't tell anyone what happened, I would buy them ice cream. They happily agreed.

Look I am not proud of this. First of all, I bribed little kids thereby assuring that they would also get in trouble. Secondly, all I offered them was a lousy ice cream cone. These kids were saving my ass from certain death by lecture, and all I could offer them was ice cream? That was a low moment for me, but really it should be for them, too, because I can't believe they agreed to that. Come on, guys, you had me by the virtual balls-you could have taken me for more than just ice cream.

Anyway, after I bribed the Bobbys, I left. We got back in the van, and I drove away. Yes-I did a hit and run because I am a horrible person. And I would feel more guilty about it if one of Squirt's neighbors hadn't watched the whole thing from inside his house and then told on me to Squirt's mom who then told on me to my parents. Luckily the lady whose car I hit was very understanding as her 16 year old niece had done THE EXACT SAME THING less than a month earlier to someone else. She actually was laughing about it with my parents. To the lady I hit, I just want to say you effing rule. I'm sorry I backed into your car and left, but thanks for being so cool. Also quit parking directly behind driveways.

As for me, I had to pay my parents back for the $1100 in damages I caused, I was grounded for a month*, and I had to apologize to the Bobbys, Squirt's mom and the other Bobby's parents. That was by far the worst part of the punishment. I've never been more humiliated. If I ever have kids I am absolutely using this technique because holy crap it worked on me. I never wanted to do anything that would put me in that position again.

As for Squirt's brother Bobby, apparently after his mother found out from the neighbor about the accident she asked him about it, and he wouldn't tell her anything for over 5 hours. FIVE HOURS!! I saw him over this past Christmas for the first time in about 10 years, and the first thing he said to me was, "Hey, you never bought me my ice cream goddammit. What gives?" Seriously how much does that kid love ice cream?

*My month of being grounded happened to fall at the same time as Spring Break so for 2 of the 4 weekends of my grounding, I was on a Carribbean cruise with my family. And my parents counted it! Best...grounding...ever! Mom, I take back what I said about putting off giving you grandchildren. In fact, I am pregnant right now**.

**Note to those wondering: this is not true unless the rules of how you actually get pregnant have changed to include eating frozen yogurt and watching Home and Garden Television.


Scott said...

The Bobby's are the stupidest humans ever. If I am 12 and looking at Sarah, in her 16 year old hotness, I demand an immediate make-out session. Then you know that you are going to receive payment - and holy shit - a 16 year old. Dammit Bobby!!! (said like Hank Hill)

Erik with a K said...

Awesome story! Sorry you got nailed.

Since my parents don't even know what the internet is, I can post this safely now:

I too had my first accident right after getting my license. I had a chevy citation with only an am radio and no power steering or brakes. so i put a boom box on batteries in the back seat and would play my sweet ass cassettes while i drove. at a light, while changing tapes, i let go of the brake and rearended some douche in a mitsubishi. i panicked and gave them my father's name. later at home, i answered the phone - my dad had me screen his calls normally, so when a strange person asked for him, i said i was him and who was this, "This is the person you rear-ended today" was the answer. Doh! I told them to send me the estimate directly since i didn't want my insurance cancelled. Used all my savings to pay it off directly ($200). I'm still bitter. At least my folks never found out.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Wow, I'm amazed the bribe worked. I even more amazed the kids were so cheap to buy off.
Great story Sarah!

Amy said...

All of my car issues thus far have occured with parked cars. One day after school (before marching band practice--yes, I was that cool) I was in the teacher's parking lot (because that's the end of the school where the band room was) and I was trying to get this awesome parking spot up close to the building. I thought I could squeeze through a couple parked cars to get there...great plan, until I squeezed a little too close to one and scraped the whole back right side...and it just happened to be the vice-principal's vehicle. Awesome. My friend went with me to the office to confess...actually, she did most of the talking for me because I was scared to death. The VP was somewhat cool about it and I was able to focus on the bright side of the situation--at least she hadn't driven her Jaguar that day!

~jess~ said...


Kids are so fun to bribe. And that was a great post, Sarah.

10 points for you.

Anonymous said...

I love snow days...I get to sit on my tush all day and do nothing. I also get a chance to finally read some bloggage again, and apparently, that was a great idea on my part. The minivan story was pretty darn amazing and reminds me of the SEVERAL fender benders that I was responsible for in my day. I had a couple of real doozies, but for crying out loud, bribing Bobbys with ice cream? Seriously, who does that? It is too bad that your diabolical plan did not work out, I guess that will teach you to manipulate the minds of helpless pre-teens. However, just remember Sarah that if anything happens in Vegas, I gladly except Chipotle, Miller Lite, Burger bucks from BK, and a new pair of sneakers as forms of bribery!! I am glad I got that off my chest, so now I will go back to sitting on my tookus and watching TV...did I mention how much I love snow days???

Gordon said...

I hate you Drew. Very. Very. Much.

Diane said...

This was a good time in my life. I could do anything, and I still was the good daughter because of this incident. Thanks Sarah.

Drew sucks. 1) SNOW DAY ON APRIL 25. 2) When I just talked to him, he was laying on the couch, stuffing his face and I heard the faint sound of TIVO.

Gordon said...

Then why do you leave him at your house?? There's a reason he doesn't have my spare key...and that would be it....

John said...

I remember this one time when I called Gordon and acted like a total jackwad. That was awesome

JC said...

Haha! Great story, thanks for sharing. I feel better about my own accident now.

And never underestimate the power of ice cream.

Charlotte said...

I could possibly have you beat.. You see, I didn't even wait until I was 16.(of course I blame it on my bad influence of a friend at the time:) We decided to take my mothers car for a joy ride and I had never driven before. Sooo, my friend drove to the park and then told me to 'try it out'. I was driving around the park at about 40 mph (on gravel) and spun out and hit a pole. oops. The best part is I was so scared of my dad that we decided to 'run away' to Galveston 40 miles away. Needless to say, we ran out of gas, and with no money had to call our parents to come and pick us up. There was even an APD out on That has got to be the single most idiotic thing I have ever done. Makes a great story though, and it was fun.. if you count being scared shitless and sleeping in a car in a parking lot fun.:)